6 Factors For Choosing The Right CAD Program For Product Design
No matter what you do - whether you are an engineer, a designer, or a person chasing their dreams in design - choosing the right CAD program for your product designs can be challenging. You will find tens or even hundreds of options today, including Microsoft Visio.
You will also have to deal with different features and prices in all these options, which can confuse you about what to choose and what to throw out the window. In addition, you also need to look at your requirements to ensure that the CAD program you choose can handle them without any problems.
But how can you do all these things with all the options available? Are there any specific factors you should consider to ensure you have made the right choice? Well, if you are struggling with this, we got your back. Here are a few factors to look at.
1. User Interface
What is the first thing you expect to interact with when using a CAD program? Of course, the user interface. You can even use it to determine whether you enjoy working with any particular program.
If you have used a CAD program before, you expect to see things like a menu bar, access toolbar, tool palettes, information center, and command prompt, among others, when you launch a CAD program. But what if you cannot access all these options easily?
It would mean that the CAD program would make it difficult for you to create your designs. If you look at programs like Creo and SolidWorks as compared at Tristar, you will see all the features that come with them. You can even see which of the two best suits you if you are a beginner. Similarly, ensure any CAD program you want to use has a user-friendly interface.
2. Software Compatibility
As a designer or engineer, you will always work with different people. You cannot be involved in every single process or work on everything alone from the beginning to the end. It means that you will work with different experts in different fields. All of you will use different sets of software applications.
For example, you might have to share your CAD files with all these experts for optimization and discussion. But what happens since (if) you are all using different CAD programs? Well, you should make sure that your CAD files are compatible with other applications.
In addition, look at the most common 3D file and CAD formats when choosing a CAD program. Can you export or import TIF, PNG, JPG, PDF, DWT, DXF, or DWFX formats? Look at all these formats and ensure you can work with them without problems.
3. CAD Program Reliability
Let us look at a scenario where you want to download an app from Microsoft Store. You want to use the app for an urgent project and cannot hire someone to do it for you.
However, the Microsoft Store starts crashing before you even download the app. You try getting the same app online but cannot find it. Do you think you will be able to work on your project considering that you do not have the needed app?
This is where the reliability of the CAD program you choose to use comes in. You should ensure your program of choice does not fail in any way. Failing might not be your fault, and chances are that you cannot fix these issues. So, do not waste time with a CAD program that is not reliable.
4. Accessibility to Commands
When using a CAD program, you will provide it with commands to dictate what the program should do for you. You will use different sets of commands, one after another, to complete and manage your design project.
How easy would this process be for you if you cannot access the commands? Imagine having to move from one menu option every time looking for the right commands to use. This should not be the case with the right CAD program.
You should ensure the CAD program you choose comes with quick and easy access to the commands you need for your design project. In addition, in case you have to type in some of the commands, the program should auto-complete and even correct them for you. If you can access commands easily, you will complete your design projects in time and without any problems.
5. Accessibility to Guidelines
If you have never used a CAD program, you might find it challenging to dive in and start working. How will you install, activate, or even start a new project if you do not know how to go about it?
So, what does this mean? Well, you should choose a CAD program that guides you on everything you need to do. The right CAD program should also give you access to a user community and in-app tutorials to learn how to use it.
CAD program X might use different commands from CAD program Y. Even if you are good with CAD program X, you might have to learn about the commands you need to use with CAD program Y. If the program does not provide you with learning materials, how will you use it effectively apart from relying on unreliable learning material from the internet?
6. Availability of Features
As discussed above, you have a wide variety of CAD programs to choose from. One thing you should be aware of is the fact that they all come with different features. What you will find in one CAD program might differ from what is available in another.
If you are not careful with features, you might choose a CAD program that cannot do what you want it to do. You might even find yourself in a situation where you are using other applications to help your CAD program create your designs.
You should, therefore, look at the features that your choice of CAD program comes with. You will not have to use third-party applications when working on your design projects if you get one with all the features you need.
Choose the Right CAD Program for Product Design
If you have a design project coming up, do not get just any other CAD program and dive straight in to create your designs. It is important to note that your chosen program can make or break your product designs. Instead, ensure you have considered all the factors discussed in this article to choose the right CAD program for your product design.